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The power of one man


For the most part, I have tried to stay away from the topic at the top of everyone’s news feed during the past few months... Trump. But, since it’s also constantly at the top of my news feed, it’s also not far from my thoughts.
Last Friday (Jan. 20) marked the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States – Donald Trump. While this doesn’t mean that much to the majority of us as Canadian citizens, if Trump keeps the promises that he has been making – cancelling trade agreements and heavy taxation on good imported into the US, just to name a few – it is sure to impact us all.
Although I’m really not sure how well we can trust his word. Even with something as simple as the inauguration, his government has lied. On Saturday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a brief press conference and announced that the previous day’s ceremony had garnered a larger viewing audience than any other instance of that event. This was quickly proven false by the Neilsen Company, who tracks television ratings.
Trump's inauguration actually ranks fifth in terms of television viewership. More people tuned in for the second inauguration of Richard Nixon, the inauguration of Jimmy Carter, the first inauguration of Ronald Reagan, and the first inauguration of Barack Obama. So, if this is so easily proven wrong, why lie about it?
In fact, why does Trump say most of what he says? If you follow his Twitter feed, which is very well used by the now-president himself, you will see he writes without thought to the consequences and, it seems, without proper research and education on his topics.
I read a column by Dan Lett in the Winnipeg Free Press the other day and I can’t help by quote Dan when he said, “social media is Kryptonite for common sense and restraint”. Oh, how true Mr. Lett. I’ve been saying that for years!
Lett went on with the following: “Trump has actually used Twitter to create an alternate reality, one where civility and factual truth are road kill. Because he never gives ground, never admits a mistake, never concedes a fact, he wins the hearts and minds of millions of Americans who are more concerned about his roguish tone than his grasp of truth.”
And, isn’t that sad. One man can gain admiration for his lack of self-control. One man can destroy businesses, can diminish women’s rights and can demolish relations with the rest of the world because of a few words on social media.
Perhaps Trump is in need of some advice from his predecessors. Millard Fillmore once said, “An honorable defeat is better than a dishonorable victory" and Woodrow Wilson is quoted as saying, “One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty counsels. The thing to be supplied is light, not heat”. But, perhaps best of all, John Quincy Adams said, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."